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How to Make Rhubarb Jam & Rhubarb Jelly

When my sister and I were girls, on hot June days, our mom would send us with a bowl of sugar to the back step where her rhubarb patch was within arms' reach. Ruby stalk by ruby stalk, we'd wipe off the most evident dirt with our fingers, then dip -- and dip and dip -- the rhubarb into the bowl to sweeten each tart biteful. When I was home last summer, I rescued the last bits of Mom's Roundup-ravaged rhubarb from the back step and planted it in my own garden. Some years must pass before my rhubarb plants will qualify as a patch but someday, I'll sugar my very own rhubarb. It’s oh-so-easy to make rhubarb jam and jelly. Allow only an hour to make both of these at the same time. And when the jars are lined up so pretty on the counter, how proud you’ll feel!Collect six to eight half-pint canning jars, lids and rims. It’s fine to reuse good-condition jars and rims but the lids must be new. This time of year, grocery stores and hardware stores sell jars (along with lids and …

Strawberry Banana Chocolate Crumble

Local strawberries arrive soon! Here are three simple ways to enjoy their ruby sweetness.First, a crumble made with a magical combination of strawberry, chocolate, banana. So good! Next, a '"fool" made with strawberries, that an old English strawberries 'n' cream combination. Mine version is plumped up with the tang of Greek yogurt and a touch of orange. Finally, just wait until you taste a most elegant strawberry dessert, oh-so-simple strawberries in wine. My house backs up to a park. Well, that’s what I call it. The neighbors who live there call it their back yard.Saturdays, the "park" gets mowed and trimmed by a man or two and a boy or two. From their friendly waves and hallos across the fence, it’s no stretch to surmise they may have been born elsewhere.Last year, during the height of the Congressional immigration storm, one of Mother Nature’s blew through town, littering the park with sticks and branches and limbs.(Ever picked up two acres of sticks…

Caper Chops with Curried Carrots

The Recipe: Oh if only every supper were so quick and tasty! Cook the carrots and then the pork chops in a single skillet, add a few pantry ingredients. Low Carb. High Protein. Gluten Free. Easy adjusted for supper for one or two. A total win!
The joke in northern states is that the year has two seasons, winter and road construction. The joke among snowbirds wintering in warmer climes is that the weather is boring, one perfect 80 degree day after another.Here in the Mississippi flyway of eastern Missouri, we’re blessed by four such distinct seasons, how can one pick a favorite?Still, spring is wondrous!Its promise starts small with snowdrops, crocus and hyacinths then moves to showy pussy willow, witch hazel and forsythia. Soon daffodils line roadsides in thick drifts, reaching sunward first on south- and west-facing exposures, gradually crossing over.Then even as deciduous leaves stain green, the flowering trees burst with blossoms that parade for weeks, one after the other: the magn…

Vanilla Brownies

You know how everyone has a favorite brownie recipe? the go-to brownie recipe? the make-them-all-the-time brownie recipe? Well, this is "that" brownie recipe for me. When I first started making these vanilla-scented brownies, they evoked memories of drinking vanilla cokes at the soda fountain in my hometown's drugstore. Here's the story – and my recipe for Vanilla Brownies too.
REVIEWS
"These smelled so good baking ..." ~ kaoriz
Growing up, my small town of 1700 people had a K-12 school, a movie theater, a hospital, a newspaper, a bank, a dairy, five dress shops, five car dealerships, four hardware stores and three grocery stores, two caf├ęs and two drugstores with soda fountains.Both fountains served ‘pop’ and ‘coke’ but it was Curtis Drug where I was allowed to perch my preteen self on a stool after school, perhaps because my mom some times played bridge with Mrs. Curtis.Above the fountain was a scruffy stuffed albino deer bagged by Mr. Curtis, gruesome …